Rita's Remnants Surge Inland, Coast Begins Cleanup

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"[On] the road we come in on [to the National Weather Service office], one power pole is snapped off about halfway up, and several others are leaning at a 45-degree angle," Rinard said.

Not all of Lake Charles was flooded, but at one point as the hurricane moved through, some low-lying areas were under as much as six feet (two meters) of water, Rinard said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has dispatched a survey ship to find and clear debris from the Calcasieu River, which is used by tankers bringing oil to Lake Charles's refineries.

"The NOAA ship will be out there today," Rinard said. "There are refrigerators, appliances, parts of roofs floating down the channel. They've got to get all that cleared before they can allow tankers in here."

Willie Drye is author of Storm of the Century: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, published by National Geographic Books.

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